Cardio vs. Resistance Training
A very common stereotype is that women should do cardio and men should lift weights. This is WRONG. Naturally, through training individuals will have different goals but having a good balance between both cardio and weight training is essential to keep on track. The national guidelines recommend 5 sessions a week for at least 30 minutes containing a minimum of two resistance sessions. The intensity must be at least a brisk walk or above to achieve these recommendations.
What are the benefits of cardio you ask? Well, cardio training burns more calories than resistance training and keeps that lean physique. Cardio also develops your fitness and maintains control of your metabolic levels (such as BMI, waist circumference and blood pressure) which reduces your risk of many health related diseases. Cardio has been shown to significantly reduce stress and anxiety levels in daily life.
What are the benefits of resistance training you ask? First thing’s first, resistance training is NOT just for men, it is also for women. It is a perfect type of training to enhance muscular aesthetics to get that lean muscular physique. Resistance training also develops strength which is vital for balance and support in daily activities as simple as sitting upright. The more muscle you have, the more CALORIES YOU BURN JUST TO FUNCTION. So you can enjoy eating extra food just to maintain your normal bodily functions.
Is there any particular order I should do my cardio and resistance training? Yes, but it very much depends on your goals.
If you want to remain bulky then you should aim to fit your cardio in at the start of the week. Cardio will inevitably break down muscle tissue; therefore, if you do cardio straight after strength training, your adaptations will be negligible. If you want to remain bulky then you need to wait a very minimum of 24 hours after a resistance session to do any cardio to enable muscular build and recovery to take place. Ideally, aim for a full cardio session at the beginning of the week rather than small bursts each. You also want to aim for high weight between 8 to 12 reps.
Alternatively, if you want to remain slim then aim to complete at least 15-20 minutes of cardio each session followed by resistance training and aim for full sessions of cardio heavy activities. During your resistance sessions you want to aim for lower weights between 20 and 25 reps.
What activities are classified as cardio and resistance? Cardio activities include walking, jogging, running, rowing, cycling, cardio boxing, aerobics, swimming, even house chores is cardio! Resistance training can be bodyweight, free weights, kettlebells, resistance bands, TRX bands, machines, barbells and chains.